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The inevitable end result of our last 56 years


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Armed protesters, on both sides, confronting each other.  Not good.  Sooner or later it may well come to more than wounded in a stabbing or shooting incident.  An outright firefight with multiple casualties?  Police subduing who, on which side? 

"very different than anything we've seen before."  "They were looking for a confrontation".

Man arrested in Olympia, Wash., after pro-Trump demonstrations turn violent (msn.com)

Edited by Ron Bulman
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1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

Sandy:

The problem is that, as we have found out through the work of Paul Bleau, academia is establishment oriented.  Which roughly means, to get along, you go along. Therefore, someone like Truman, who I argue in my review of The Jakarta  Method, actually altered FDR's foreign policy, has been lavishly overrated.  I mean when Condi RIce likes your presidency, something is wrong somewhere.  Rice likes Truman, as many Republicans, like George Will also, because he encouraged the Cold War.  Which is a path I do not think FDR and Hull would have gone down. I mean we know that is what Anthony Eden said in a secret interview he did with Bob Sherwood.

But to show you how the Establishment encourages this, McCullough's book, which lavishly praised Truman, and covered up his horrible decision to drop the atomic bombs, becomes a bestseller and gets a mini series. (See this for McCullough's faux pas with both Truman and Adams.  I actually think he covered up the stuff with Truman https://hnn.us/articles/157.html.) If you recall, McCullough did the speech at Dealey Plaza on the 50th, when the mayor decided to rope it off and pass names of spectators through DHS.

Same with Eisenhower.  Eisenhower deliberately avoided enforcing the Brown vs Board decision, even in the face of the insurrection that took place by Orval Faubus at Little Rock in 1957.  He let that affair go on for weeks until he finally had to send in the military to protect the students from getting attacked.  He left that whole Brown vs Board mess up to the Kennedys to deal with.

And it was Ike who got us into Vietnam. He and Foster Dulles broke the Geneva Accords, and then CREATED a new country, South Vietnam. They then installed a whole new leadership which won through rigged elections.  Lansdale would tell Diem I can get you 60%, and Diem would say, how about 90%. This gave the illusion that somehow America was fighting for democracy.  Well, yeah when you have more people voting in a district than the eligible voters who live there, it looks like democracy.  And Foster Dulles saying, well now that the French are out, we can go in without a hint of colonialism. Figure that one out.

Needless to say Ike and Allen Dulles started the art of overthrowing democratically elected governments, in Iran and in Guatemala. They also began the method of assassination of foreign leaders: the Lumumba case being a very bad example. So, today, I am not a big fan of the allegedly avuncular Eisenhower.

The whole BLM movement has made us examine this whole presidency ranking business.  Washington and Jefferson both owned hundreds of slaves. Madison and Monroe owned scores. Grant owned at least one.  IMO, if I had to rank them, I would probably still include Washington and Jefferson, but I would have to gravely qualify that ranking.

And my God LBJ? That is just nutty.  Johnson altered so many of Kennedy's foreign policy moves, and for the worse, that its really ridiculous to try and count them.  And the Establishment historians who do these rankings helped cover that up.  To use just one example: Indonesia.  What Johnson did there led to the death of over a half million people.  Try and find one cable where anyone in the WH or State Department says, "Isn't that enough killing of innocent people?"

This is why I have never bought the whole American Exceptionalism rubric. Its a mask for people who do not want to deal with these issues, and also exalt people like Truman, Ike and LBJ.

 

Jim,

You make many good points. But the following is where I am coming from:

Scholarly polls -- like the presidential rankings -- are useful for people who aren't knowledgeable enough to form their own opinions on a topic, and don't have a pundit whose opinions on the topic they trust. Even if the scholars are influenced by "the establishment," their opinions will surely be more reliable than those of some opinionated stranger walking by. And so I use them at times.

If you don't mind my asking, who would you list as your top ten presidents? In deciding, please do not give qualifications, like "except that he owned slaves." Instead, rank the whole person, warts and all, in each case.

 

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9 hours ago, Richard Price said:

The Russians have hacked into computer systems at Commerce and Treasury according to reports by various news agencies.  They happen all the time and we do it to other countries as well.  Is this just another day in the worldwide cyber wars?  Then again, is this possibly the kompromat on Trump coming to fruition as he pushes his "loyalist" into positions in every agency.  These people may be loyalist to Trump, but they may have ties to Russians or be compromised also.  Thirty eight days to go, if we're lucky.

The national media is all reporting on the coming transfer of power, but Trump is still saying "We're going to win this".  They haven't been paying attention.  He says exactly what he means, he has from day ONE.  Everyone is getting lulled to sleep by thinking this is all going to go the way it always does.  2021 may not signal the end of the nightmare of 2020.

I always question these type of reports because I reckon half or more are disinfo by the spooks. It's not like they're not on the lookout for attempts of this type and if I were a CI type the first thing I'd do is make sure they showed the cards they like to play. It's a great opportunity to load your adversary up with bad information which if acted on creates problems.

They do it a lot with scientific and industrial targets I don't know why they wouldn't with financial info.

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15 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

I was surprised because T. Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Truman have ranked in the top 10 of virtually every major poll taken of scholars.

Sandy, if you re-read that list I rather hastily concocted, Jefferson was on there and LBJ was not.

Jim nicely explained why Truman shouldn't be near the top 10 and T Roosevelt is another president that garners far more favorable views by these establishment historians than deserved in my opinion. Garfield was a bit of a joke because I believe most of these best presidents lists are always tilted towards modern history, not sure why, perhaps because the 1800's are boring to most modern readers?

Although the slave ownership issue is perhaps not ideal, I do not view Washington owning slaves as a reason he shouldn't be viewed positively in historical context. I mean, if Washington isn't there, we likely do not have a country and who knows how long Britain would have kept slavery in its US colony. Using India as an example, today there are an estimated 18.3 million living in what qualifies as modern day slavery even though they made the slave trade illegal before the US I think. Additionally, some of those high ranking slave owners actively promoted slavery, some didn't. Jefferson signed that bill prohibiting importation of slaves for instance. A small step, but necessary.

Through the 2020 lens, I understand that doesn't matter, but I do not agree with analyzing historical actions through a modern viewpoint. If history somehow turns positive, imagine a year 2220 review of presidents and the simple critique that almost all post WWII presidents advocated (or at least failed to stop) constant interventions, typically based on largely false propaganda, in foreign countries that tended to result in a lighter form of modern day slavery (or worse, Indonesia,Vietnam,Chile?) for the people of those countries. I believe any analysis of the Constitutional era should find that any attempt to make slavery illegal at that time would have resulted in a disaster and would have effectively been a step backwards. Jackson's destruction of the 2nd US bank made a non-slavery based South next to impossible and led to 1861.

 

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17 hours ago, Cliff Varnell said:

So DiEugenio denies the successful liberal policies of Obama’s last two years while decrying the right-wing attack on liberalism?

Thank you for the morning chuckle Cliff. Obama's "Successful liberal policies" and no, I do not need to see you re post your arguments thereof it is ok that we disagree.

 

It's easy to attack liberalism when it doesn't exist in a historically recognizable form. Today, it apparently means, corporatism with a touch of tokenism. Also, it seemingly can mean anything other than serious economic reform and regulation (and disagreement with CIA/CFR on all foreign policy matters). If your not attacking that then what are you doing for Wallace's Common man?

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1 hour ago, Dennis Berube said:

Thank you for the morning chuckle Cliff. Obama's "Successful liberal policies" and no, I do not need to see you re post your arguments thereof it is ok that we disagree.

At least quote me correctly: “Successful liberal policies of his last two years.”

DACA wasn’t a successful liberal policy?

The expansion of Medicaid?

 Net neutrality, no?  Not liberal?

Backing gay marriage — not liberal in your book?

The Iranian nuke deal?  The opening to Cuba?  The negotiated removal of chemical weapons from Syria? The Paris climate accords?

You seem to have a blinkered notion of “liberalism.”

Quote

 

It's easy to attack liberalism when it doesn't exist in a historically recognizable form. Today, it apparently means, corporatism with a touch of tokenism. Also, it seemingly can mean anything other than serious economic reform and regulation (and disagreement with CIA/CFR on all foreign policy matters). If your not attacking that then what are you doing for Wallace's Common man?

https://www.epi.org/blog/superb-income-growth-in-2015-nearly-single-handedly-restored-incomes-lost-in-the-great-recession/

https://www.cbpp.org/poverty-and-inequality/commentary-health-coverage-income-and-poverty-all-improved-decisively-in-2015

 

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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1 hour ago, Dennis Berube said:
17 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

I was surprised because T. Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Truman have ranked in the top 10 of virtually every major poll taken of scholars.

Sandy, if you re-read that list I rather hastily concocted, Jefferson was on there and LBJ was not.

 

Dennis,

When I first posted that poll showing Obama at #8, you said that Truman didn't belong there and that several others on the list were overrated. I crossed all those off my list to make it agree with your sentiments. Jefferson was one of those you'd said was overrated.

Later, when you posted your top 10, you apparently changed your mind and put Jefferson on your list. I didn't notice that you'd changed your mind, and that is why Jefferson remained crossed off.

As for LBJ, who took the #10 position on the poll I cited, I didn't cross his name off because you didn't object to his name being there.

 

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Joseph McBride posted this on Facebook today:

From the Daily Mail [U.K.]

A team in hazmat suits will spray the entire [White House] residence with disinfectant after Trump leaves and remove carpets, curtains and furniture.
‘The incoming President and First Lady get to choose their new furniture from a secret warehouse,’ Ms Andersen Brower told CNN.
A member of the transition team added: ‘Mr Trump’s administration has been riddled with the coronavirus. The Bidens are taking no chances. The entire property will be deep-cleaned down to
replacing doorknobs and taking down soft furnishings. The virus can linger on hard surfaces so the entire residence and executive offices will be wiped clean with disinfectant to exorcise any trace of Team Trump.’
Image may contain: text that says 'OVAL OFFICE ©2018 NEWSDAY'
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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   Interesting discussion of Presidential rankings.  I'm going to chime in here, because I was an American Studies major at Brown, (as was JFK, Jr., BTW) and I've read over 20 biographies from the Easton Press Presidential library series since I retired two years ago.

   First of all, what criteria are we using in these rankings?  If we rightly deplore American imperialism, slave ownership, and the genocidal treatment of Native Americans, (and the Third World) we would end up disqualifying numerous American Presidents.  Five of our first seven Presidents were slave owners.

   I might restrict myself to a few observations, while acknowledging up front that I'm very distantly related to the Roosevelts. 

   The greatest?  Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR are no brainers.  Madison ranks among the great Founding Fathers for his contributions to, and defense of, the U.S. Constitution.

   Polk-- the shamelessly imperialist, Tennessee slave owner-- accomplished a great deal in his one-term, dark horse tenure.  He negotiated/extorted the acquisition of a vast array of territory to the U.S. via the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo-- west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and southern Colorado.  He also negotiated the acquisition of Oregon and Washington state with the U.K.  In addition, Polk, a former Speaker of the House during Jackson's Presidency, first articulated the precedents of; 1) a POTUS needing to represent all U.S. citizens, not just those who voted for him, (Trump never learned that one) and 2) using the State of the Union address to outline a legislative agenda.

  Grant-- The most popular POTUS of the latter half of the 19th century, whose end-of-life memoir was a great 19th century best seller.  Celebrated internationally for his role in defeating the Confederacy and presiding over Radical Reconstruction.  Used U.S. troops to suppress KKK terrorism in South Carolina.  Hated in the South, and defamed in the 20th century by "Lost Cause" historians.  In recent years, historians have begun to revise "Lost Cause" representations of Grant as a merely corrupt, inept drunkard.  Yes, his father-in-law gave Grant a slave as a valet before the war, but Grant freed him at a significant financial loss at a time when he was broke.

    Garfield was a gifted Speaker of the House during Radical Reconstruction, but didn't serve long enough as POTUS (before his assassination) to be ranked among the greats.

   Truman has been lionized for nuking Japan and signing off on the creation of the Israeli state in Palestine, but the consensus now is that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unnecessary, and, as James Forrestal opined before his murder, the establishment of Israel was a gargantuan foreign policy blunder for the U.S., with disastrous, long-term consequences.  Truman also, disastrously, signed off on the creation of the CIA.

    LBJ was, IMO, in on the plot to murder JFK, and escalated the disastrous war in Vietnam as a direct consequence of JFK's assassination.  He does deserve credit for using his Congressional skills to finesse the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and Medicaid, even though the impetus for these major legislative achievements originated with JFK.

    Clinton is very much underrated as a successful POTUS, mainly as a result of the right wing/Scaife/White Water smear campaign.  Clinton and Gore increased the top income tax rate in 1993, (by a 51-50 Senate vote) and presided over eight years of robust GDP growth and a dramatic decline in the growth rate of the Reaganomic national debt.  Clinton left Bush and Cheney with a budgetary surplus and a mere $5 trillion in national debt, which Bush and Cheney promptly mushroomed.  Alan Greenspan wrote in A Time of Turbulence that Bill Clinton was the most intelligent POTUS he had worked with during his storied career.

    Obama, definitely, ranks among the top ten best Presidents in history.  A century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for universal health insurance, Obama got it done-- succeeding even where Clinton had failed.  Obama also enacted the highly effective Stimulus Recovery Act of 2009, which prevented the Great Bush-Cheney Recession and widespread bank failures from devolving into a second Great Depression.  Obama also presided over the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulatory reform act, in response to the 2008 Crash.  He was consistently sabotaged and defamed by the Koch-funded GOP Tea Party and right wing media, but presided over seven years of consistent GDP and private sector job growth, and a near TRIPLING of the U.S. stock markets-- as I can attest from personal financial experience.

   

Edited by W. Niederhut
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How Right-Wing Conservatives Have Laid Waste to America for 50 Years

Thanks to a half century of insidious "trickle-down" philosophy—which astoundingly continues to be preached by many of the super-rich—inequality has stretched our nation nearly to the breaking point.

by

Paul Buchheit

 

How Right-Wing Conservatives Have Laid Waste to America for 50 Years | Common Dreams Views

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49 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

 

   Polk-- the shamelessly imperialist, Tennessee slave owner-- accomplished a great deal in his one-term, dark horse tenure.  He negotiated/extorted the acquisition of a vast array of territory to the U.S. via the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo-- west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and southern Colorado.  He also negotiated the acquisition of Oregon and Washington state with the U.K.  In addition, Polk, a former Speaker of the House during Jackson's Presidency, first articulated the precedents of; 1) a POTUS needing to represent all U.S. citizens, not just those who voted for him, (Trump never learned that one) and 2) using the State of the Union address to outline a legislative agenda.

 

   

Wasn't Polk the one who engineered the annihilation of the native population? Or has primary responsibility at any rate.

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What I like about W's view is that he tries to achieve some balance. i admire Sandy's persistence in asking Jim and Dennis about rating the Presidents because I think I know why he may be puzzled  and I'll attempt to answer purely on the number of negative or positive statements made over time.

Jim and Dennis are largely 2 peas in a pod, very influenced by Oliver Stones "Unauthorized biography of America", which starts around the Depression era, which is quite good, and I would recommend. I'll key mostly on Jim because of sample size over the years,  Jim never really presents balance, though Dennis seems to be presenting some more in his recent posts. . But Jim's order  of best President would be:

1) JFK

2) JFK

3) JFK and so on...

One exception might be FDR, I assume Jim given his stated preferences likes FDR, but he's really been rather quiet about it. Since this forum and Jim  is big on media conspiracies, I've never heard Jim say so, but I  feel like there could be a legitimate  MSM conspiracy alleged about the historical coverage of FDR's Presidency being swept under the rug, whereas Jim predictably thinks JFK has gotten the worst take, because they refuse to revise their blind obeyance to the WC findings and refusal to declaratively revise the fact that JFK was actually trying to wind down and not escalate the U.S.involvement in Vietnam.

A few years ago, Jim perpetuated a JFK cult here. Almost every one posts he started  was to show that the world would have been perennially changed if JFK was allowed to fill out 2 terms. I won't  characterize it as I did at the time, but it did bug me.

Jim evades Sandy's question about his top 10 Presidents and defers to experts like Paul Bleau because.. Going strictly on impressions from what he's said. Jim is pretty much contemptuous of all the other Presidents since FDR,with the exception of JFK, and has nothing good to say about any of them. In fact, Jim never says for example, " Such in such was good here, but was terrible there, and that why I hate him". That also goes for people like Noam  Chomsky who is about as vigilant as Jim about U.S. intervention and similarly has  nothing good to say about any Presidents, ,and who I would think represents Jim's views more than he does mine, but Jim pretty much castigates anyone who doesn't publicly espouse the JFKA conspiracy, so for Jim,  that's another hoop for a leader to jump through.

On the other hand, From what I've seen here, it's a very elite group of historic figures  that Jim likes, and they have the status of divine  super heroes. They are:.

1.JFK

2. RFK

3. Jim Garrison

4.Oliver Stone

5. Vladimir Putin'

6. Robert Parry-always referring to him as " the great".

7.Julian Assange

8.Mort Sahl

 

Dennis's response to Sandy of 9 and 10 being Garfield and Arthur, i assume was a joke, as Garfield was assassinated very early in his Presidency and Arthur inherited his Presidency and never successfully was re elected to the Presidency, much like Gerald Ford. It kind of requires more research to get those last numbers down and we are sort of spitballin' here.

 

 

Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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2 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

How Right-Wing Conservatives Have Laid Waste to America for 50 Years

Thanks to a half century of insidious "trickle-down" philosophy—which astoundingly continues to be preached by many of the super-rich—inequality has stretched our nation nearly to the breaking point.

by

Paul Buchheit

 

How Right-Wing Conservatives Have Laid Waste to America for 50 Years | Common Dreams Views

I agree with this and it could be much longer.  There really is no conservative party in the USA today.  The GOP has become a party of destruction.  Its main MO is to torch liberalism. Clinton's FCC revisions were instrumental in all of this.  

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1 hour ago, Kirk Gallaway said:

A few years ago, Jim perpetuated a JFK cult here. Almost every one posts he started  was to show that the world would have been perennially changed if JFK was allowed to fill out 2 terms. I won't  characterize it as I did at the time, but it did bug me.

Absolutely the world would have been perennially changed if JFK had served two terms.  Are you arguing that Nixon would have won in 1968 regardless?

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